Peach Melba Cake (Gluten Free)

This cake was basically inspired by tinned peaches. I grew up eating tinned fruit cocktails and so have always had a fondness for tinned fruit. It's cheap and convenient. Although tinned fruit doesn't have the freshness and flavour of fresh fruit, it's typically ready peeled and sliced and is always ripe. Let's face it sometimes you need a hassle-free life and that includes baking. The first thing I think of when presented with a peach is peach melba, the dessert. Who doesn't love it? With the dessert in mind I thought I'd attempt the cake version and ended up making a gluten-free sponge!

Serves 10-12

Hands-on Time 35 minutes (plus cooling)

Baking Time 35 minutes


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Ingredients

Oil for greasing (flavourless e.g. sunflower or vegetable)

2 Tins of Peach slices in fruit juice, large (approx. 410g undrained, each)

230g plus 1 tsp Caster sugar

5 Eggs, large

250g Ground almonds

30g plus 1 tsp Cornflour

Fine salt, couple of pinches

100g plus extra for decoration Frozen raspberries

1 tsp Lemon juice (concentrate is fine)

400ml Double cream

1 tsp Vanilla extract

3 tbsp Icing sugar


Equipment

Scissors

Baking parchment

2 x 20cm Fixed or push bottom cake tins

Kitchen paper

Mini chopper or blender

2 Mixing bowls

Electric whisk

Spatula

Saucepan

Fine sieve

Spoon

Small bowl

Wire rack

Knife


Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3.


Cut two pieces of baking parchment into circles for the bases of the cake tins.


Grease the tins with oil using kitchen paper and line with the parchment.

Drain the peach slices. Drink the juice, don’t waste it!


Pat the slices dry using kitchen paper.

Add 200g of peach slices to a mini chopper or blender, setting aside the rest, and pulse.

Separate the eggs between the two mixing bowls.


Add the blended peaches and 130g of caster sugar to the egg yolks. Beat with an electric whisk on a high speed for at least a minute.

Clean and dry the beaters.


Whisk the egg whites until you have a foam. Keep whisking and gradually add 100g of caster sugar until you have stiff peaks.

Add the ground almonds, 30g of cornflour, and a pinch of salt to the beaten egg yolks and combine using a spatula.

Add a scoop of the egg whites to the mix and beat to loosen it up. Add half of the egg whites and fold into the mixture. Add the remaining eggs whites, folding again until there are no specks.

Divide the mixture between the two tins and smooth using a spatula. Give the tins one tap on the worktop before placing them on a middle shelf in the oven and leaving to bake for 35 minutes.

Whilst the cakes are baking get on with the speedy raspberry jam.


Add 100g of frozen raspberries to a saucepan. If you want to set extra ones aside for decorating place them onto a couple of pieces of kitchen paper and leave to defrost.


Add 1 teaspoon of caster sugar, the lemon juice, and a pinch of salt to the saucepan.

Place the pan over a medium-high heat and stir using a spatula. Within one to two minutes you should find the raspberries have defrosted and have released lots of juice. Keep stirring in the meantime. Once the jam has thickened you can remove the pan from the heat.

Press the jam through a sieve over a small bowl so you can remove any seeds. Remember to scrape the bottom of the sieve with a clean spatula so you don’t waste any jam.

Set the jam aside for later.


Remove the tins from the oven and leave the cakes to sit for 15 minutes.

When the time is up carefully turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and remove the baking parchment. You may need to run a palette knife around the edge of the cakes to loosen the sides. Leave the cakes to completely cool.

When you’re ready to assemble the cake clean one of the mixing bowls you used earlier along with the whisk beaters.


Add the cream, vanilla, and icing sugar to the bowl and whisk until thick and stiff.

Give the jam a stir with a spatula to loosen it up before adding to the cream and giving a gentle fold to make a raspberry ripple.

Place one sponge on a serving plate and dollop half of the cream on top. Make sure you have a raised edge around the outside.


Chop up all but 8 slices of peach you set aside earlier. The remaining 8 slices can be used for decorating.


Add the chopped peaches on top of the centre of the cream. Cover with the other slice of cake and gently press down.

Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining cream, sliced peaches, and defrosted raspberries if you set any aside.

Enjoy!


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